Big Deals

Indian renewable energy market attracts substantial foreign investments

Given its ambitious renewable energy targets and favourable business en­vironment, India has become a key destination for foreign investments. Ac­c­or­­ding to Renewable Watch Resear­ch, in the past five years, over 100 foreign inves­tment deals have taken place. The cumulative am­ount of these investments is ar­ou­nd $16,000 million (excluding select deals with undisclosed investments).

Major deals

In 2016, the biggest deal value was Re­New Power’s green bond issue of Rs 5 billion. Yes Bank’s $50 million green bond is­s­­ue from FMO was another big highlight. The biggest asset acquisition was Guaya­ma PR Holdings BV, an investment vehicle of GE Energy Financial Services, acquiring a 49 per cent stake in Myt­r­ah Vayu (Tunga­bh­adra) Private Limited (a 200 MW wind energy project in Andhra Pradesh) for $31 million. The most active company was Su­z­­lon Energy. It sold a 49 per cent stake in Amun and Avingha Solar Farms (30 MW) and Rudra Solarfarms to Canadian Solar ($3.6 million) and AMP Solar ($1.97 million), respectively.

In 2017, Actis Capital’s undisclosed stake in Solenergi Power for $500 million was the biggest private equity deal during the year. Globevestor’s undisclosed stake in Oorjan Cleantech for Rs 29 million was another key equity deal. A major highlight of the ye­­ar was the entry of pension funds in In­dia’s renewable energy industry. In this spa­ce, the spotlight was on the Cana­da Pen­sion Plan Investment Board’s (CPPIB) $144 million minority stake in ReNew Pow­er. The latter also raised $200 million from JERA for a 10 per cent stake. Other highlights we­re CleanMax raising $100 million and $15 million from Warburg Pincus and IFC respectively. IFC also invested $125 million in Hero Future Energies for 1 GW of solar and wind power projects.The key green bonds issued were by Azure Power, REC, NTPC, PFC and IREDA. The Mac­quarie Asia Infrastructure Fund’s 100 per cent acquisition of Hindustan Power­pro­jects’ 330 MW of operational solar assets for $600 million was the biggest asset ac­quisition deal.

In 2018, the key development was the Euro 240 million investment by Lightsource BP and the Everstone Group to create a fund management platform, EverSource Capi­tal. CDPQ’s $368 million investment in CLP India for a 40 per cent stake was an important deal. CDPQ also invested $100 million in Azure Power, increasing its share to 40 per cent. CPPIB was also active during the year. It bought an undisclosed stake in Re­New Power for $247 million to be used for the latter’s ac­qui­sition of Ostro Energy. So­v­er­eign wealth funds GIC and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) agreed to invest significant amounts in Greenko to support its round-the-clock projects. In the rooftop solar space, Fourth Partner Energy raised investments from TPG Growth; Orb Energy from the Netherlands Development Fina­nce Corpo­ration, Pamiga and DEG; Zu­n­roof from I3N; and Freyr Energy from C4D Partners. The State Bank of India’s $650 million green bond was the biggest bond of the year.

In 2019, Avaada Energy, Greenko, Hero Fu­ture Energies and Azure Power were ac­tive in raising a significant amount of funds. Avaada Energy raised funds from ADB, DEG, FMO and Proparco; Greenko from GIC and, ADIA; Hero Future Ener­gies from Masdar; and Azure Power from CDPQ. Other key highlights were in­ve­stments by global fossil fuel companies. Wh­ile Petronas bought a 100 per cent sta­ke in Amplus Solar, Shell invested in Pun­jab Re­ne­wable Energy Systems Private Li­mi­­ted and Orb Energies. During the year, Re­New Power, Adani Green En­ergy and Tata Clea­ntech Capital issued green bonds.

In 2020, investments by fossil fuel companies continued. TotalEnergies bought a 50 per cent stake in 2,148 MW of solar power projects held by Adani Green Energy Limited for $510 million. Petronas acquired Acme’s 100 MW Pavagada Solar Park for $109 million and BP invested $70 million in India’s Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF). Ayana Renewables raised equity from the CDC Group and GGEF. Mean­while, KKR laun­ched Virescent Infra­struc­ture, a platform to acquire renewable energy assets in In­dia, and acquired five projects from Sha­poorji Pallonji Infrastructure Ca­­pital. Sin­ga­pore state investment firm Tem­­asek and Sweden’s EQT committed $500 million equity capital to the renewable energy platform O2 Power, whereas Re­New Power and CLP India issued green bonds. In 2021, the biggest foreign investment deal has been the Orix Corporation’s 21.8 per cent stake in Greenko for $961 million. Actis signed an agreement to buy For­tum’s 500 MW of solar projects in India for arou­nd Euro 280 million. Further, Fourth Partner Energy raised equity from Norfund ($100 million), the CDC Group (Rs 2.5 billion) and The Rise Fund ($25 million). Clean­Max rais­ed $223 million from Aug­ment Infra­str­ucture and AMP Energy India raised $100 million from Copenha­gen Infrastructure Partners.

Conclusion

This is just a glimpse of the foreign investments in the Indian renewable energy spa­ce. Many more domestic financing deals have been signed during these years. Go­ing forward, it is expected that the manufacturing and green hydrogen industries will be the focus of foreign investments and many foreign firms will divest their shares in the Indian market.

Ac­c­or­­ding to Renewable Watch Resear­ch, in the past five years, over 100 foreign inves­tment deals have taken place. The cumulative am­ount of these investments is ar­ou­nd $16,000 million (excluding select deals with undisclosed investments)

By Sarthak Takyar

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